Rwanda genocide court rejects ex-colonel’s appeal


The appeals chamber at the UN war crimes tribunal for Rwanda upheld the 25-year prison sentence on former military officer Ephrem Setako for genocide crimes and crimes against humanity, said the tribunal’s news agency.

The appeals chamber also found Setako, who was head of legal affairs in Rwanda’s defence ministry at the time of the 1994 genocide, guilty of an additional charge of murder as a war crime, but did not increase the sentence.

Setako had argued he should be acquitted because of what he called inconsistencies in witness testimonies regarding his responsibility in two separate massacres, Reuters reports.
“The Appeals Chamber … confirmed the lower court’s conviction and 25-year prison sentence on ex-Rwandan military officer Lieutenant Colonel Ephrem Setako for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” a statement issued by the Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said.

In their original indictment, prosecutors said Setako armed and trained militiamen and ordered them to kill Tutsis in several areas of Rwanda. Ethnic Hutu militia and soldiers butchered 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus in just 100 days in 1994.

Setako, 62, was arrested in Holland in February, 2004.